On September 14, during the momentous occasion of the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurating the Rs.1.1 trillion high speed rail project, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) is set to kickstart a unique initiative to deepen India and Japan’s bilateral engagement – especially economic and educational ties. IIMB will inaugurate the India-Japan Study Centre on campus on the same day. The aim of the Centre is to promote understanding of Japan in India and vice versa through research, teaching and policy outreach efforts.
Prof. G. Raghuram, Director, IIMB said, “At a macro level, there are complementarities between India and Japan in the sphere of economic development. We have a lot to learn from Japan on infrastructure and technology management, and we can offer them insights on the start-up culture”.
Highlighting the fact that IIMB has had an abiding and continuing interest in Japan, IIMB Director Prof. Raghuram said the school’s faculties have collaborated with Japanese institutions, conducted joint research and offered Executive Education Programmes. “The India-Japan Study Centre will build on these initiatives and take the collaboration to the next level,” he added.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Board of Governors of IIMB, and Chairman, Biocon Ltd. Observed that, “The India-Japan Study Centre at IIMB can also provide a synergistic platform for mutually beneficial academic and inter governmental initiatives to contribute to the shared ethos of the ‘Resurgent Japan, Vibrant India’ agenda.
IIMB has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Sustainability in Japanese. The school already offers an elective course, ‘Business Planning for International Markets’, with the specific focus on Japan, along with a Japan language elective course. Senior executive programmes have been conducted for Japanese companies. IIMB has an industry relationship with Mitsubishi for support towards classroom technology.
Objectives of the India-Japan Study Centre
- To become a knowledge centre of Japanese business history, business strategies, culture, and technology innovations.
- To initiate focused studies on India-Japan collaborative projects.
- To promote collaborative research between partnering Japanese institutes, industry, and IIMB.
- To host scholars from Japanese institutes of higher learning, practitioners from industry and policy makers.
- To disseminate the outcomes of academic research in the focused areas.
Role of India-Japan Study Centre at IIMB
With the compelling business and national interests propelling the fast-evolving India-Japan business collaborations, IIMB conceived the idea of establishing the India-Japan Study Centre.
The Centre will facilitate collaborative initiatives among academia, industry and government agencies of both the countries to work on areas of mutual interest. These would include domains such as business environment, government policies, innovation, project management, sourcing, technology transfer, development and management, sustainability, intellectual property rights, and understanding of local culture and business practices. The sectoral focus would be on infrastructure including energy and transportation, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Currently, there is no focused initiative in India among academic institutes, particularly, in management institutes, to create, share and disseminate knowledge in the relevant areas of Indo-Japanese business.
The Centre will explore offering dual degree programs with Hitotsubashi University and other universities in Japan, and customized electives and immersion programs for exchange students of the partnering universities.
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With MoUs signed with Japanese Bschools like Hitotsubashi University, International University of Japan, Keio University, Kyoto University, Tokyo University and Waseda University, students at IIMB have been collaborating with Japan even before the centre was conceptualized. Each year, a group of 30 postgraduate programme students from IIMB visits Japan as part of the business planning for international markets (BPIM) programme.
An Executive General Management Program (EGMP) for executives in Japanese companies in India is also on the anvil. “The Centre will provide an understanding of the two economies in terms of their demographics. Japan has an older age group of people as mid-level employees and we believe our students can get jobs in Japan if they are interested in the country,” said Prof. Raghuram.
Announcing that the Centre would kick off its launch with a round table on the new bilateral relationship between the two countries, Prof. Krishna Sundar D, faculty from the Production and Operations area at IIMB and Chair of the India-Japan Study Centre, said: “The India-Japan Study Centre will serve as an intellectual gathering point for research scholars, students, government agencies and industry leaders of India and Japan.”